World Dairy Diary

Registration Open for National Mastitis Council Meeting

NMC Logo_Tag JPEG_low resRegistration for the National Mastitis Council (NMC) Regional Meeting, August 4-6, 2014, is now open. This three day event will be held at Ghent University in Ghent, Belgium.

The regional meeting provides attendees with information and skills necessary to strengthen milk quality programs and increase dairy profitability. The conference also provides an excellent opportunity to network with individuals from around the world who share the common interest of quality milk production. The meeting is being organized jointly with the M-team at Ghent University.

“It is with great pleasure that we co-host the regional National Mastitis Council meeting,” says Sarne De Vliegher, the 2014 NMC regional meeting program chair and associate professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. “Attendees will have a chance to learn about quality milk production and mastitis prevention while experiencing all that the beautiful city of Ghent has to offer.”

The three-day conference will begin on Monday, August 4 with a session on the use of antimicrobials in prevention and cure of mastitis, focusing on the responsibility of the industry, academia and regulators. An opening reception will be held that evening at the Assembly Hall of Ghent University (Aula) in Ghent, Belgium.

The main program will be held on Tuesday, August 5 and includes 11 speakers covering topics ranging from immunity and mastitis, genetics and mastitis, treatment programs, dry cow management, udder health programs around the world, and an update on milking and milking techniques. Other topics include a look at what has been learned over the years on mastitis and milk quality, as well as updates on contagious mastitis, emerging pathogens, environmental pathogens, and opportunistic pathogens. The conference dinner that evening will be held at the historic ‘Castle of the Counts’ (Gravensteen) in the center of Ghent.

Specialized short courses will be held on Wednesday, August 6. The short courses provide a smaller group setting for the participants, offering the opportunity to interact directly with the instructor and other registrants in the course.

Short course topics to choose from include:
· Failure of mastitis therapy – Is it the drugs, bugs, cows or us?
· Unlocking the potential of precision dairy farming mastitis detection technologies
· The role of the microbiology laboratory in mastitis control
· On-farm culture systems
· Pain and mastitis
· Heifer mastitis
· Mastitis – It’s all about communication and motivation

Rounding out the event will be a tour that includes an on-farm workshop and a visit to Milcobel cheese factory.

“This year’s regional meeting is shaping up to be an exciting event,” says Anne Saeman, executive director, National Mastitis Council. “The organizing committee has put together a strong program that offers both educational and networking opportunities. We are pleased to be working with the M-team at Ghent University to host the upcoming meeting.”

The early bird discount registration deadline is June 1 and the final day to pre-register is July 15. Registration will also be accepted on-site at the meeting, however please note that the short courses may fill up before the deadline. Registration for the short courses is based on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To learn more about the NMC regional meeting and to register, visit: www.nmc2014.ugent.be. For additional information contact the NMC office at nmc@nmconline.org; phone (608) 848-4615 or contact the M-team atNMC2014@Ugent.be.

The Great American Milk Drive

Right now, 1 in 6 Americans face hunger. Many rely on food banks for nutrition assistance, including more than 12 million families. Across the country—and in your community—these families are missing out on the important nutrients found in milk.

While milk is one of the top nutritious items requested by food bank clients, it’s rarely donated.

That’s why Milk Life is partnering with Feeding America to launch The Great American Milk Drive, a national campaign to secure highly desired gallons of nutrient-rich milk for millions of hungry families—made possible by the nation’s milk companies and dairy farmers.

With a small donation, you can help get fresh, nutritious milk to hungry families in your community. There have been 21,536 gallons of milk donated to date.

Joint ABI/ADPI Annual Meeting to be held in Chicago

The 2014 Annual Conference of the American Butter Institute & the American Dairy Products Institute will be held April 27-April 29, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The 2014 Conference promises to be truly educational and informative, and will feature two days of speakers and programs on various industry topics. As in the past few years, record attendance is expected.

“This meeting is a great opportunity for not only networking and interacting with industry leaders, but it also presents a great venue to meet with customers. The dairy industry’s landscape has changed considerably, not just domestically but internationally, and the sessions presented at the meeting provide attendees insight into how to prepare for these changes,” said David Riemersma, President of Butterball Farms, who also serves as President of ABI.

The meeting will kick off Sunday evening with two keynote speakers. First will be Anthony Morgan, former wide receiver who played six seasons in the NFL, first for the Chicago Bears (1991–1993) and then the Green Bay Packers (1993–1996). Second, we will welcome Otis Wilson, a former linebacker for the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Raiders. Mr. Wilson won a Super Bowl as a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears team where he was a featured soloist of the “Shuffling Crew” in the video The Super Bowl Shuffle in 1985. Both Morgan and Wilson work to spread the message about Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign. NFL PLAY 60 is the league’s youth health and fitness campaign.

Monday’s session will begin with opening remarks by Craig Alexander, President, ADPI and David Riemersma, President, ABI. Mary Ledman, Tim Hunt and Jon Davis will lead a panel discussion on the industry’s current market conditions and outlook. Next will be a panel discussion and review of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was passed by Congress on December 21, 2010 to ensure food supply by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination, to preventing it. Hear from leading speakers who will provide an update on proposed rules on FSMA and their impact on the dairy industry.

The 2014 ADPI Award of Merit recipient was announced last week by Dave Thomas, Executive Director, ADPI. Mr. Thomas noted that the ADPI Board is pleased to announce that Jerry Kozak, who served as ABI Executive Director for over 22 years, and recently retired President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the ADPI Award of Merit. The award luncheon will be held on Monday, April 28th.

After 20 years of use in the U.S. market, genetically-modified foods continue to generate controversy, at least among certain segments of both consumers and food marketers. More states are expected to consider laws mandating the labeling of foods with GMOs, even as food marketers are working to create a voluntary labeling system. A panel discussion of stakeholders from across the value chain will discuss GMO use, and the stakes for the dairy industry. That panel will be followed by a session on Dairy Risk Management, where attendees will hear about the new rules and regulations from the CFTC mandated by Dodd-Frank.

Tuesday’s program begins with a morning breakfast with Ross Christieson, U.S. Dairy Export Council, who will present opportunities and challenges for dairy ingredient sales in the Middle East and North Africa. This will be followed by a CEO Panel on the challenges and opportunities in the dairy ingredient sector.

The Industry Luncheon will feature Paul Grave, managing director of GlobalDairyTrade (GDT). Separate Board of Directors meetings for ADPI and ABI, as well as several committee meetings, will be held during the afternoons on both Monday and Tuesday.

The complimentary social hours held each afternoon in the exhibit hall and the sizeable receptions held on Monday and Tuesday evenings will provide abundant opportunities to network with over 750 senior-level dairy executives, including manufacturers, marketers, suppliers, distributors and brokers of manufactured dairy products. Tuesday’s reception will also allow attendees to taste test a variety of world championship cheeses.

From Cow to Candy

A unique exhibition will be featured at PMCA’s 68th Annual Production Conference. Transforming raw milk to finished candy is a complex and amazing process! Visitors to PMCA’s dairy exhibit will have the opportunity to learn about the wide range of dairy ingredients available for use in confectionery products. From farm production through ingredient processing, the exhibit will provide a unique insight into the dairy product industry.

Demonstrations in a simulated milking parlor will be a highlight of the display. Tasting samples will provide visitors with the opportunity to experience the taste and texture profiles that different milk products bring to confectionery.

Ice cream samples will be available to visitors, compliments of Blue Bell Creameries, and to top it off Barry Callebaut, Concord Foods and The Hershey Company will provide an array of toppings.

PMCA’s 68th Annual Production Conference will be held in Lancaster, PA at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and Lancaster County Convention Center from Monday April 14th through Wednesday April 16th, 2014. The dairy exhibition will be featured on Monday in Freedom Hall from 12:30-5:00pm. The exhibition will be developed and hosted by PMCA’s Program Committee in cooperation with the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP).

PMCA is a non-profit international trade association in the confectionery industry whose goals are to provide open forums for the free exchange of technical information through its Annual Production Conference, to promote and direct basic and applied scientific research in the science of chocolate and confectionery through its Research Program at leading universities and to educate and train technical and manufacturing personnel worldwide through its Short Course Program. The organization was originally founded in 1907 as the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Confectioners’ Association.

NMPF Asks FDA to Rewrite Draft Animal Feed Regulation

NMPFLogoPMS281BlueWords44KBThe National Milk Producers Federation has asked the Food and Drug Administration to rewrite a draft livestock feed regulation, saying the agency went beyond the intent of Congress by seeking to impose requirements that will not make animal feed safer.

In comments sent to the agency Monday, NMPF asked FDA to substantially revise the regulation and requested the agency establish a new round of comments from industry and the public. “FDA has the authority to re-propose the regulation and still comply with (a) court-ordered deadline to publish a final rule by August 30, 2015,” NMPF said. NMPF made the request in two sets of comments, one focused on dairy plant safety and the other addressing animal feed.

The draft regulations were issued under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which gave the FDA broad new authority to regulate food. NMPF said it supports efforts to implement the 2010 law, but believes that the draft animal feed regulation goes too far, particularly because it would make it harder to use brewers’ grain as animal feed, a practice in use for hundreds of years.

Among other things, NMPF, the Washington voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers, said the draft regulation incorrectly imposes safety standards on animal feed that are similar to those for human food. The proposed regulation incorrectly establishes manufacturing standards that equate animal feed and human food. “The innate hygienic standards of humans exceed the hygienic standards of livestock,” the organization said. It asked FDA to propose manufacturing standards specific to animal feed.

The proposed regulation also unnecessarily regulates by-products from brewing when they are used in animal feed, even though there is no public health risk associated with these products. This “will result in unnecessary increased costs to dairy producers,” NMPF said. It joined the Beer Institute and the American Malting Barley Association in requesting FDA use the existing authority in the FSMA to exempt animal feed products made during the production of alcoholic beverages.

In separate comments submitted jointly with the International Dairy Foods Association, NMPF also identified unnecessary and duplicative requirements for dairy processing plants which may divert some food production materials such as cheese trim and liquid whey to animal feed. These plants are already subject to FSMA requirements for human food production. NMPF stated the proposed standards “do not reflect the inherent differences between foods for human and animal consumption” for diverted food production materials and requested regulatory relief for these dairy processing plants.

With the substantial changes requested, NMPF asked FDA to conform the regulations with the intent of the FSMA and issue a new draft. “Given the very significant nature of these regulations, a second opportunity for stakeholders comment is essential to ensure the final rule is practical, achievable and fosters the safe production and distribution of animal feed,” NMPF said.

Opposition Allowing Interstate Sales of Raw Milk

The nation’s dairy farmers and dairy companies today expressed their opposition to new legislation in Congress that would allow the interstate sales of raw milk, saying that any additional availability of the product will increase the number of sicknesses and deaths of people who consume it.

The International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation said that “the risks inherent in raw dairy products are not worth any imagined benefits to either consumers or producers of unpasteurized milk products. Raw milk skips the pasteurization safety process, and this is playing Russian roulette with the health of too many Americans – including many of our children.”

The two associations urged lawmakers to reject the “Interstate Milk Freedom Act of 2014,” a bill introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), which would repeal a long-standing ban on the sales across state lines of unpasteurized milk. Federal law currently gives states the discretion to regulate raw milk within their borders, but the dairy organizations expressed concern that repealing the interstate ban would greatly increase the production and consumption of a known health hazard.

“If this measure passes, those most vulnerable to dangerous pathogens – children – are the ones who will suffer the most. The benefits of consuming raw milk are illusory, but the painful costs of illness and death are very real,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Productions Federation.

“Consumption of raw milk is a demonstrated public health risk. The link between raw milk and foodborne illness has been well‐documented in the scientific literature, with evidence spanning nearly 100 years. Raw milk is a key vehicle in the transmission of human pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella,” he stated.

Several states in recent years have considered and approved legislation expanding the sales of raw milk, even as the product has been repeatedly linked to serious illnesses from coast to coast.

“Our dairy industry benefits from a very high degree of consumer confidence – confidence built in large part due to the excellent food safety record of milk and dairy products,” said Connie Tipton, President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association. “While choice is an important value, it should not pre‐empt consumers’ well‐being. To further ease the regulations surrounding the national sale of raw milk is an unnecessary risk to consumer safety.”

The two dairy groups said that the Centers for Disease Control has reported that nearly 75 percent of raw milk‐associated outbreaks have occurred in states where sale of raw milk was legal. Only one to two percent of reported foodborne outbreaks are attributed to dairy products. However, of those, over 70 percent have been attributed to raw milk and inappropriately‐aged raw milk cheeses.

“Seldom has the science behind public health policy been so clearly one-sided. Pathogenic bacteria can be found on any dairy farm, regardless of its cleanliness or the good intentions of its owner. This legislation is a threat to public health and should not be approved,” the organizations said.

CWT Assists with 3.6 Million lbs in Dairy Export Sales

CWTCooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 15 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Foremost Farms USA, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 2.094 million pounds of Cheddar cheese, 1.185 million pounds of 82% butter and 308,647 pounds of whole milk powder to customers in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Middle East and North Africa. The product will be delivered March through August 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 29.299 million pounds of cheese, 15.495 million pounds of butter and 2.881 million pounds of whole milk powder to 21 countries on five continents. These sales are the equivalent of 619.5 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

In the long-term, assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them in rapidly growing world dairy markets. This, in turn, positively impacts U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

CWT will pay export assistance to the bidders only when delivery of the product is verified by the submission of the required documentation.

Candidates Announced for WMMB Director Elections

wmmblogoThe Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced today that 11 nominees are certified eligible for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) 2014 Board of Directors election.

Here are the certified candidates, listed in alphabetical order by district:
– Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Rusk, Sawyer and Washburn Counties – Ben Peterson of Grantsburg
– Barron and Polk Counties – Audrey Kusilek of Rice Lake
– Clark County - David Bangart of Greenwood – Richard Price of Stanley
– Brown, Door and Kewaunee Counties – John Pagel of Kewaunee
– Buffalo, Pierce and Pepin Counties – Lanette Harsdorf of Beldenville
– Fond du Lac, Green Lake and Marquette Counties – Dave Schmitz of Fond du Lac
– Columbia and Dodge Counties - Becky Levzow of Rio
– Grant County - Ann Kieler of Platteville – Mary Wackershauser of Lancaster
– Green, Rock and Walworth Counties – Stacy Eberle of Monroe

DATCP confirmed that each candidate is an active dairy producer who sells milk into commercial channels and lives in the district up for election. In addition, DATCP certified each candidate’s nomination form, which included five signatures from active dairy producers within the district and a notarized “Affidavit of Eligibility” requirement.

Nominations were first filed by February 21, however, District 4 failed to receive any nominations during the allotted time period. DATCP then extended the deadline for that district until March 14. One nomination was received during the extension.

To vote, DATCP will distribute mail-in ballots in early April to dairy producers who live within the nine affected districts. Producers who do not receive a ballot by April 14 should call Noel Favia at (608) 224-5140. Elections will be held through April 26, 2014, with results announced later in May. For more election information, visit www.wmmb.com/elections.

Not All Milk Protein is the Same

Until recently the A2 Corporation (A2C) operated exclusively in the Australian marketplace. Over the last 5 years a2 Milk® Australia has achieved 5yr CAGR of 45% whilst maintaining premium price positioning. a2 Milk® remains the fastest growing milk brand in the total supermarket milk category; it holds the #1 and #2 ranked sku’s and is circa 4 times larger than the entire organic milk segment in supermarkets. A2C now has operations in Australia, New Zealand, UK and China and is thrilled to be bringing new understanding and availability of the amazing health benefits of a2 Milk® to US consumers.

What is a2 Milk®?
– naturally occurring cow’s milk, not a product of genetic engineering or a technological process.
– recognized as being the original or ancestor beta casein gene in modern cattle. Originally all domesticated cows produced milk containing only the A2 type of beta casein. However, following a natural genetic mutation in European dairy herds, beta casein in conventional milk may now be present as one of two primary variant types, A1 or A2.
– the only milk that contains only the original A2 primary variant of the protein beta casein.

a2 Milk® is a tremendous opportunity to be part of something truly game-changing in the US market that is backed by an expanding body of scientific evidence and brought to you by a team with years of accumulated A2 know-how and an extensive intellectual property suite. We’re calling upon you to help us MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Stop by booth #5188 at Natural Products Expo West (NPEW) on Anaheim, CA March 7–9, 2014 to visit and learn more information about a2 Milk® and the team behind it.

Posilac Celebrates 20 Years

MilkStory_AccordionFold-1.121921Since the first commercial sale of Posilac on Feb. 4, 1994, it has helped deliver substantial economic and environmental benefits, in addition to helping today’s dairy producers meet a growing demand for milk.

To date, more than 37 million U.S. dairy cows have been supplemented with Posilac over its 20 years in the marketplace, reducing producers’ costs by about $6.3 billion over the two decades or $.50 to $1.50 on every hundredweight.1 Further, Posilac enables cows to produce about 10 lbs. more milk per day.2

In fact, six U.S. dairy cows supplemented with Posilac produce the same amount of milk as seven cows without it.3 Beyond the economic benefits, it also offers significant environmental resource savings. On average annually over the past 20 years Posilac use has resulted in4:

  • 3.2 million tons less feed required annually, enough to fill about 133,300 semi-trucks. (63.4 million tons cumulatively)
  • 1,023 square miles less land use required each year, equal to half a million football fields which would be enough to circle the Earth’s equator when laid end to end. (20,464 square miles total)
  • An average of 95.6 billion gallons less water used annually, or the annual household consumption of the entire state of New Mexico. (1.9 trillion gallons total)
  • 4.6 million tons less manure produced, equivalent to the weight of 99 Titanics. (92 billion tons total)
  • 2.9 million metric tonnes less CO2 equivalent produced, equal to removing 617,126 cars from the road. (58.5 million tonnes total)

“Posilac plays an important role in reducing the environmental footprint of dairy production,” says Dennis Schaffler, senior director of Elanco’s dairy business unit. “This is critically important given the World Wildlife Fund reports the world is already overusing its resources, requiring 1.5 years to regenerate annual resource consumption.”

Products like Posilac will be even more important in the future. While global dairy productivity has doubled in the past 50 years, there’s 14 percent less milk available per person today than in 1961.5 U.S. dairy producers reduced the deficit by adding an average of 8.85 billion 8-oz glasses of milk4 to our global supply annually due to Posilac use.

CWT Assists with Dairy Export Sales

CWTCooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 26 requests for export assistance from Bongards Creameries, Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’Lakes, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Northwest Dairy Association and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 4.006 million pounds (1,817 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheese, 1.645 million pounds (746 metric tons) of 82% butter and 180,779 pounds (82 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The product will be delivered in February through June 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 16.389 million pounds of cheese, 5.396 million pounds of butter and 698,865 pounds of whole milk powder to 18 countries on four continents. These sales are the equivalent of 272.9 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

In the long-term, assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively impacts U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

CWT will pay export assistance to the bidders only when delivery of the product is verified by the submission of the required documentation.

The Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) Export Assistance program is funded by voluntary contributions from dairy cooperatives and individual dairy farmers. The money raised by their investment is being used to strengthen and stabilize the dairy farmers’ milk prices and margins. For more information about CWT, visit www.cwt.coop.

Nominees Sought for Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

wmmblogoThe Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is inviting Wisconsin dairy farmers who are interested in serving the state’s dairy industry and shaping its future to submit a nomination to represent their district as a Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) director.

DATCP oversees the nomination and election process and recently announced the 9 out of 25 districts currently up for election. Producers who are in serving as a director can contact Noel Favia at (608) 224-5140 or Noel.Favia@wisconsin.gov for a nomination form or access an electronic copy at www.wmmb.com/elections.

WMMB directors guide the organization’s finances, formulate and set its policies and long-range business plan and maintain its mission: To help grow demand for Wisconsin milk by providing programs that enhance the competitiveness of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry. Through these initiatives, a WMMB director has the opportunity to represent Wisconsin dairy farmers and products, as well as become involved in activities that inform and educate consumers.

To qualify, a nominee must be an active dairy farmer who sells milk into commercial channels and lives in the represented district up for election. Each potential candidate must acquire at least five signatures from active dairy producers within the district, submit a completed nomination form, and have the “Affidavit of Eligibility” certification requirement notarized. Nominations must be postmarked by February 21, 2014.

Meet DairyUS – The REAL Seal of Approval

image008The animated Dairy REAL Seal Character finally has a name. After a nationwide vote, the cartoon character who is helping to build awareness of the advantages of real dairy foods has been named DairyUS. The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) made the announcement today during their annual meeting.

The character was modeled after the iconic REAL Seal logo and will help educate a new generation of consumers about the difference between genuine U.S. dairy products and imitations. The icon is part of an effort to revitalize the seal, which was created in the 1970s and is already used on more than 10,000 food products.

NMPF asked the public to suggest names for the character last summer, using the REAL® Seal website and new REAL® Seal Facebook page. Three finalists were selected from among more than 100 names submitted. An online vote was held from mid-September through Election Day, November 5.

In all, nearly 800 votes were cast. DairyUS, suggested by Kathryn in Clermont, Iowa, received 379 votes. The runner-up, Milkdrop, received 343 votes, while the third finalist, Roscow, received 74 votes. The results of the vote were announced today at the NMPF annual meeting, being held in Phoenix, Arizona.

“DairyUS will help both kids and adults learn about foods made with real dairy products,” said NMPF Chief Operating Officer Jim Mulhern. “The REAL® Seal not only means a product is a real dairy product, but that it is made with milk from cows on U.S. dairy farms and without imported, imitation or substitute ingredients.”

WhiteWave seeks to patent ‘light milk’

WhiteWave Services Inc. has filed a patent application for ‘light milk,’ a lower-calorie alternative to skim milk without a watered-down flavor and mouthfeel.

Read entire article here.

Source: Beverage Daily

Minnesota Milk Commissions Report

image002Minnesota Milk Producers Association commissioned a report on Environmental Regulations to gain a better understanding of the experiences and perspectives dairy farmers have toward environmental regulations in Minnesota. Findings from this report will be utilized by Minnesota Milk as they prepare comments on Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) newly released amendments to state rules regulating animal feedlots.

In addition to providing comments to MPCA on their rule revisions, Minnesota Milk will also look at working with MPCA to implement some of the action items that stemmed from this report, including implementation of a training program specifically for agency staff members with whom dairy farmers interact, expanding basic and dairy-specific agricultural educational outreach to legislators and other rule makers, and create an emergency response tool kit for dairy farmers.

The report was facilitated and developed by Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC). The entire report, “Environmental Regulations: A Review of Milk Producer Experiences and Perspectives in Minnesota” can be viewed at www.mnmilk.org.

Giant Introduces PA Preferred Milk

PA Preferred MilkGIANT Food Stores, based in Carlisle, Pa. is the first national retailer to qualify its store brand milk as PA Preferred™, meaning 100 percent of the milk is produced in Pennsylvania.

“By offering PA Preferred milk, GIANT is helping support farmers and area businesses that produce quality products, while making investments in local economies and keeping Pennsylvania growing,” Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley said during the milk’s launch at GIANT Food Store in Harrisburg.

PA Preferred™ is the official brand of agriculture products made or grown in Pennsylvania. The program’s trademark is a gold checkmark inside a blue keystone that can be found on products year-round at farmers markets, restaurants, food
processors, grocery chains, craft breweries and wineries.

The GIANT brand PA Preferred™ milk is available in whole, 2 percent, 1 percent and skim in gallon and quart sizes. The milk is available at 156 retail locations in Pennsylvania and 44 locations in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

“Pennsylvania milk comes from a good place,” said Harold Shaulis, a dairy farmer and chair of the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program. “When you drink this milk, you know it was produced by farmers who care for their cows and care about producing healthy, nutritious dairy foods for our friends and neighbors to enjoy.”

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Declining Sales and Consumption

According to Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Inc., our industry has come to realize that declining milk sales are a crisis that needs to be addressed. Fluid milk consumption has hit a 30-year low.

In an age of vitamin waters and energy drinks, the decades long decline in U.S. milk consumption has accelerated, worrying dairy farmers, milk processors and grocery chains.

Per-capita U.S. milk consumption, which peaked around World War II, has fallen almost 30% since 1975, even as sales of yogurt, cheese and other dairy products have risen, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. The reasons include the rise in popularity of bottled waters and the concern of some consumers that milk is high in calories.

Another factor, according to the USDA, is that children, who tend to be heavy milk drinkers, account for a smaller share of the U.S. population than they once did.

To revive sales, milk companies and retailers are pushing smaller, more-convenient packages and health-oriented varieties, including protein-enhanced milk aimed at fitness buffs.

The dairy industry is also retooling its marketing to tout the authenticity of cow’s milk and to deride fast-growing alternatives like soy and almond milk as “imitation milk.”

The decline’s recent acceleration is due in part to increases in milk’s retail price, a result of the soaring costs for grains fed to dairy cows, according to industry officials. But the depth of this year’s slide has surprised some food-industry executives because retail milk prices have risen only slightly this year after surging 9.2% last year, according to federal data.

Entire article here.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Ian Berry and Kelsey Gee

Opposition to Government Limits on Milk Production

A new nationwide survey released found that 81 percent of Americans agree that individual farmers should have the freedom to decide how much milk they produce and not have a limit set by government policy.

The survey, which was conducted online last month among 2,094 adults by Harris Interactive on behalf of the International Dairy Foods Association, also found that 74 percent of Americans believe milk prices should be based on what consumers are willing to pay. Only nine percent think milk prices should be set by government policy.

The majority of Americans recognize the need for the government to help dairy farmers in some way. The survey found 52 percent of Americans support providing financial assistance through government-subsidized insurance — frequently referred to as margin or risk management insurance — to protect farmers against catastrophic losses. Only eight percent say farmers should be helped by government policies that would keep prices higher by limiting how much milk farmers produce. Forty percent of Americans don’t support either option.

Current proposals in the Farm Bill would require farmers to limit the milk they produce in exchange for access to margin insurance. The Goodlatte-Scott Amendment, a proposal that would provide insurance coverage while not restricting farmers’ ability to decide how much milk they would produce, is expected to be considered when the House of Representatives takes up the Farm Bill.

An infographic with full survey results can be found here.

‘Dedicated to Dairy’ Launches

A new campaign launched Nov. 12, focusing on the hard-working dairy farm families and the nutritious products they produce. Named “Dedicated to Dairy,” the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association Inc. campaign includes multi-media efforts featuring regional dairy families and their stories.

Who better to tell the story regarding the dairy industry, its impact on local communities and the vital role this industry plays in providing consumers with a quality product than the dairymen themselves? Consumers will have the opportunity to become a virtual part of the farm, learning about all aspects of the dairy industry in a fun, interactive way.

The website, dedicatedtodairy.com, features stories about life on the farm and show where and how dairy foods are produced with focus on economic impact, environment practices and animal husbandry. Interactive features, social media links and blogs will also be included. QR codes will also be developed so visitors can have easy access to specific sites and information.

Youth Milk Drinkers Benefit in Old Age

New research shows that children who drink milk regularly will be physically fitter in their elderly years.

The research, published in the Journal Age and Aging, found elderly people who consumed the highest amounts of milk and dairy foods in childhood were able to walk faster and were much less likely to suffer problems with balance.

Researchers at Bristol University studied 400 men and women aged from their mid-60s to late 80s. They had all taken part in a study which began back in the 1930s to analyze the affect of diet and lifestyle on long-term health.

As part of the study, the volunteers, who were then all young children, were tracked for their intake of milk and dairy goods.

To test if this had any impact on health in old age, the volunteers were tested for their walking speeds and their balance.

The results showed milk-lovers had five percent faster walking times than those who drank little or no milk. They were also 25 percent less likely to have potentially dangerous balance problems.

In a report on their findings the researchers said: ‘This is the first study to show positive associations of childhood milk intake with physical performance in old age.’

The findings support earlier research highlighting the health benefits of drinking milk as a youngster.

Source: Daily Mail


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